Whale dies in Thai waters after swallowing 80 plastic bags
An autopsy found 80 plastic bags in the whale’s stomach after it died in Thailand. (Facebook: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources)
Thailand coastal authorities say a whale found in the south of the country died after swallowing 80 plastic bags.
Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources says the small male pilot whale was found last week.
The whale was spotted in a canal near the Malaysian border, unable to swim.
Officials try to help the stricken whale. (Facebook: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources)
Officials tried to help by covering it with a sunshade and attempting to use boats to help it float, the BBC reported.
But it suffered convulsions during the rescue attempt and vomited five plastic bags shortly before it died.
An autopsy revealed plastic bags weighing eight kilograms inside the whale’s stomach.
Thailand is one of the world’s largest consumers of plastic bags, which kill hundreds of marine creatures living near the country’s beaches each year.
Last month, the Thai government said it was considering a levy on disposable plastic shopping bags.
A study published this year revealed there was up to 16 times more waste in the Pacific Ocean than previously thought.
Drag netting and an aerial survey showed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch covered 1.6 million square kilometres — an area almost the same size as Queensland.
The plastic bags collectively weighed 8kg. (Facebook: Department of Marine and Coastal Resources)